Spelling and the past


I was a good speller in school. Eighth grade was a long time ago, but I believe I won most of the spelling contests.

I don’t remember that class I had in college that required spelling, but I remember the professor asking for the spelling of the second month of the year. I will always hear him saying, “Febrooary.” Anyone not spelling it correctly just wasn’t listening.

I was privileged to work at the Peachtree Executive Conference Center (now the Wyndham) its first 13 years. I did the public relations and the signage for the restaurant, the bars and the meeting rooms.

I recently noticed an ad for Bacardi rum celebrating 150 years in business. To my dismay when creating a sign way back for the conference center, I spelled it like it sounds — Bicardi. Yep, I had to redo the whole sign, and so I congratulate Bacardi on its sesquicentennial.

There are deer zipping about upper and middle Georgia in the fall and winter seasons. Growing up in Ohio friends hunted deer mostly in Pennsylvania. We were always given some meat which we found very good, along with hide to have gloves made. While there isn’t any need for gloves in our area, deer are hunted for meat. Of course you can only kill them at a special time and in special places.

I was amazed several years ago when discussing deer seen in greater downtown Fayetteville, my native born friends said in their youth, there weren’t any deer in this area. I don’t know where they started coming from, but I have heard that hitting one can total your car. You have to admit, though, they are beautiful creatures.

One of my Dad’s engineer co-workers at Firestone was Ray Neal. He had a cottage at Portidge Lake, not too far from Akron. We loved to go there and watch the skiers and were especially excited to be able to spend a night or two.

Ray had been in a band in the early 1920s and had a banjo. At one point in time, for whatever reason, he gave it to my Dad. Dad had me take banjo lessons as a young child, but they just didn’t take. Years later I gave the banjo to my son and his son is quite taken with it. Seems that banjo lessons have stuck with my grandson. I have a gut feeling that my Dad is looking down with great pride.

Akron is known for a number of lakes and my Dad spent untold funds on swimming lessons for me. They didn’t take, either. I have scoliosis. No, that’s not what is wrong with my head — it’s curvature of the spine. My spine goes down my back in the form of an “S”. I don’t know if that is why I just could never learn to swim or not, but I do know my phys ed teacher in college, gave me a “C” just to get me out of the class.

Consequently, I made sure my children learned to swim while quite young. Yes, the lessons took to them.

[Carolyn Cary is the official Fayette County historian and the editor of the county’s first compiled history, “The History of Fayette County,” published in 1977. She lives in Fayetteville.]